Special brushes for varnish

Was in Camden Town the other day with some time to waste. Ended up looking around a quite well stocked ironmongers that had a lot of good paint brushes hanging up.
There were a few brushes there in the normal kind of widths, but were quite thin (about half the thickness of a usual bristle brush).
The assistant said that they were varnish brushes. Looking back on it i cannot think why varnish brushes would be thinner. Can anyone say why please?
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I've said before here, I like the fine 'sable' type artists brushes. which are generally around 0.5cm thick. Varnish is much thinner and runnier than paint and you get a much better result from several fine coats than from one thick one. On vertical surfaces with a normal brush you will almost always get nibs and runs no matter how careful you are: normal brushes are generally for holding on to large amounts of thick stuff (increasingly the horrendous 'one coat' gels) and are no good for thinner lacquers and varnishes. Bigger brushes - particularly the PTFE ones I have noticed - also tend to leave trails of bubbles, which I find irritating.
Get yourself some finer varnish brushes and you will get a better finish and the - expensive - coating will go much further.
S
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john hamilton wrote:

I always choose a well worn but scrupulously clean brush for varnish. I don't want to carry lots of varnish in the brush but instead want to concentrate on fine finish and removing brush marks. I bought a lot of brushes surplus years ago for the purpose of applying cutting fluid on to work on the lathe and these were also much thinner and embossed as varnish brushes. Maybe for similar reasons?
hth
Bob
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In N.American paint stores, vendors tell customers to avoid introducing air bubbles into varnish because of its viiscosity (i.e. they should not shake the can the way paint is mixed by shaking.) Perhaps specially thin brushes reduce the incidence of bubbles during application.
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Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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